J.S. Bach, Cantata 49, at Trinity XX – Blind Attraction

Andrei Rublev : Icon of the Old Testament Trinity (c. 1425-27)

Andrei Rublev : Icon of the Old Testament Trinity (c. 1425-27)

The musical experimentation in this cantata, from 1726 and the third Leipzig cantata cycle, reawakens one’s sense of loss of the hundred or so cantatas that may have formed a fourth and fifth cycle, for surely those would have contained much of Bach’s most advanced work. I’d be tempted to blame one of the sons for having lost his allocation of the legacy due to drunkenness and improvidence; but that, probably, is too simple and is unsubstantiated. Hardly fair, as well, to those who are, for whatever reasons, sometimes drunk and without further resources.

Alas, faith may abet but it would not solve. And this particular cantata, with its metaphorical dialogue, of the bridegroom Christ and the soul as bride, that enflames the bridal couple in an ever more sensual interplay that, although safely ecclesiastical in context, must have sent the congregation home thinking less of the midday meal and more of erotic possibilities on a day of rest and desire.

What the lesson might be here, I need not say to all who know.

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